This 15-mile thru-hike requires no arduous bushwhacking, delivers you quickly to spectacular alpine terrain, has a simple shuttle, and serves as a gateway to big-mountain exploring. The easy-to-follow Primrose Trail, just off the Seward Highway south of Kenai Lake, climbs through thick pine forest and emerges onto rocky ridgelines with views of looming 5,710-foot Mt. Ascension and the massive Snow River Valley to the east. Continue to Lost Lake, at mile six, and cast for rainbows on open tundra at 1,920 feet elevation.
Your basecamp: a pond 1.5 miles west of the lake, which has the best solitude, up-close vistas of the glaciers on Mt. Ascension, and days’ worth of tundra hikes through the alpine valleys of Martin, Primrose, Ship, and Boulder Creeks. Tip: Hike this route from the north for the best views, but start from the southern Lost Lake trailhead in bad weather, to avoid rain-laden headwinds off of the gulf.
The Way Primrose trailhead: Take Primrose Spur Road, at milepost 16 on the Seward Highway. Lost Lake trailhead: milepost 6, Seward Highway.